I had never really heard of the term hipster until I started coming to Portland State University last year, but I did notice a very large number of people who seemed to really enjoy riding old school bikes, drink coffee, and they all seemed to dress very similarly in skinny jeans, converse, flannel shirts, and some sort of hat. It wasn’t till this year that I really began to understand that this was a group of people that called themselves hipsters, I just thought that was the new trend that a lot of people where following. But after looking into what a hipster is, I realized that this group is taking over Portland, and they seem to be everywhere I tern, even outside of the down town area. After looking into what a hipster is I realize that this has become more then just a new trend, or even the latest fad, hipsters have become a whole counter culture. I have come to realize that many of the latest political and social movements that have been taking place in Portland have come form the hipsters, or at least they have seemed to be at the forefront of these movements and helping them really take off.
One of the movements that I have seen the hipster culture play an important role is with fixed wheel bikes, and I see these bikes everywhere. They are all over the place, not only down at the campus Of Portland State, they seem to be covering all of down town Portland. And thinking back over the last couple of years I can see how this movement of biking down town has changed the landscape of Portland, everything from an increase in bike racks at the front of many stores but we have also seen an increase in bike lanes throughout the downtown area. In hind site I am sure that the hipsters where at the forefront of the ballet measure a few years ago that increased not only bicycle awareness but also increased the number and the size of bicycles lanes through Portland.
When I did a Google search for Portland hipster I came across another common subculture that hipsters seemed to be at the center of, and that is the Beer Culture around Portland. As many people have come to know, Portland has become the largest area in the nation for microbrews. I never really put a lot of thought into the groups of people that are at the microbrews that I have visited around Portland, but thinking back on it, there always seemed to be a large representation of hipsters working at the microbrews and drinking there. I also read an article that claimed that hipsters are one of the major reasons that PBR (Pabst Blue Ribbon) Beer has had suck a resurgence in the last few years. It is very interesting to me how hipsters have been so influential at so many different things that all seem to be at the center of what is not only cool, or hip, but also at the center of what could be considered the Portland Culture. As I mentioned earlier, biking has become synonymous with Portland, along with microbrews, but I think if I had to point out one thing that the hipsters have done to change the culture of Portland more then anything else, it would be the movement we have seen toward sustainability and recycling.
I don’t think you can go anywhere around the Portland area without running into something that has to do with recycling, or sustainability. I don’t necessarily think that the hipsters have had much to do with the fact that every neighborhood in Portland and the surrounding suburbs have their streets lined with recycle bins on garbage day, but I think they have been at the forefront of other types of recycling. If you look at the cloths that many hipsters are wearing they are often used cloths that they have bought in a second hand stores, or some other form of clothing store that focuses on using recycled materials or organic materials, things that are not has harmful to the environment. This would make sense because Portland has several big second hand clothing stores; I have been to a couple of them to sell cloths and they have a very eclectic collection of cloths that fits right in to the hipster culture.
After looking into what a hipster is it is hard to deny the fact that hipsters have not only had a big influence in the Portland area they have also had a big influence and even changed the culture around Portland. I would also be willing to say that hipsters have become more then just an ideology or even a pop culture, hipsters have become everything that embodies Portland, and I think it is fair to say that hipsters have taken over Portland.